Jinwoon opened his locker and soon was greeted by lots of things fell down to the floor, causing some noises. People around him turned and started teasing.
“Wow, how colorful!”
“Need help to finish them, Woon?”
Jinwoon chuckled at them. “Shut up, boys.” He bent and picked some cards. He read them. “Happy birthday Jinwoon… Oppa happy birthday… Stay healthy and live happily… Happy birthday Jinwoon Oppa…” He picked some more from the floor. “If you all want to congratulate me, you should give me presents too… In fact, the presents are the most important.” He chuckled again as he talked to himself.
Birthday present#1: Lollipops, chocolates, and all kinds of sweets.
“They did.” Jinyoung, leaning at his side, pointed to the floor. “Look, they gave you lollipops and chocolates. Tons of sweets, really.” He took an orange lollipop from Jinwoon’s locker, unwrapped and stuck it into his mouth. Jinyoung let out cheerful cry, swayed his body around as he enjoyed the orange flavor filling his mouth.
Jinwoon chuckled on that act of the boy standing near him. “It’s not like they don’t fill up this locker with every kinds of confections they can find yesterday, or the day before.” He stared at the mess on the floor. “See yours, I bet they fill it up too.” He added.
“Nuh-uh, I’d like to save it for later.” Jinyoung still enjoyed the lollipop. “And I know you’ll let me enjoy yours.” He winked and earned a disgusted grunt from Jinwoon.
“Receiving what you receive everyday doesn’t feel like receiving birthday presents.” Jinwoon stretched his arms, gathered all the confections and shoved them back to his locker, but some managed to slip and fall again. He bent to pick them, but someone was faster.
“Yah, it’s not like you don’t enjoy those sweets. And how can you expect they don’t flood you, one of the Princes of Sweets, with tons of sweets on your birthday?” Minyoung shoved the slipped confections to Jinwoon’s locker and stole a bar of chocolate. She had ripped the wrapping and taken a bite when she asked him, “Can I have this one?”
Jinwoon messed her hair. “Min, you bit it already and now you ask?” She grinned at his remark.
“Sorry.” Minyoung laughed sheepishly. She lifted her hand, offered the chocolate—yes, the one she had just bitten—to the birthday boy. His eyes widened again in instant. He was about to protest, but his so-called twin was faster.
“You expect him to eat what you’ve bitten?”
Again, Minyoung laughed. “Oh come on… It’s not like you have never made him did it, Young!” she took another bite. She squealed at the sweetness. “I’ll just eat it all then.” She stuck out her tongue to Jinwoon. She turned to Jinyoung, who had shoved another lollipop—strawberry this time—so he had two lollipops in his mouth now. “I wonder how you two manage to keep your teeth away from tooth decay when you eat those sweet things between your meals, practically almost every time your teeth have nothing to chew.”
“Said the exaggerator Min. I don’t eat sweets that much, and look; it’s you who is eating chocolate now.” Jinwoon pointed to the now half-finished chocolate bar.
“You wouldn’t earn the title Princes of Sweets together with Jinyoung if people don’t witness your fondness of sweets. You two can be easily spotted with either lollipop or chocolate bar or other sweets in hand.” Minyoung argued. “I wonder how you two manage to keep your teeth away from tooth decay when you eat those sweet things between your meals, practically almost every time your teeth have nothing to chew.”
“That’s the best thing of having a dentist aunty.” Jinyoung said in full pride. “You can have your tooth examined every day, till no germs dare to even think to live in your mouth.”
Minyoung laughed then clicked his tongue upon Jinyoung’s boast.
“Hey Min, I haven’t seen you giving your present nor congratulate Jinwoon.” Jinyoung pointed.
Minyoung yelped and slapped her forehead. “Happy sweet birthday Jinwoonnie~” she said in greasy tone. She opened her arms for a hug. Jinyoung withheld her step by putting two fingers on her forehead. “YAH! Jung Jinyoung!” she yelled.
Jinyoung put on a nonchalant face, “What?”
“You—what’s wrong with you, huh?!”
“You don’t congratulate me!” he pouted and folded his arms.
“Well, I will six months to go!” Minyoung stuck her tongue. “Yours is September 18, I remember it very well!”
“Then you should also remember that they treat both days as their own birthdays, Minyoung-ah.” Seulin, who had just taken some books from her locker a few steps away from where the three standing, joined the conversation.
Jinwoon patted Minyoung’s head. “That’s right, Min. We have two birthdays.” He grinned ear to ear.
“Tch, I can never understand this thing of you two.” Minyoung shook her head. “Happy birthday, Jinyoungie~” she said in the same greasy tone.
Jinyoung smiled, satisfied. “Now, where’s the present?” he took out his hand to receive the present.
Minyoung put on some startled expression, and it was enough for Jinyoung to pout again. He folded his arms. “Did you even prepare something for Jinwoon?” he mocked her.
“I do!” Minyoung dug her bags and took out a wrapped box. She handed it to Jinwoon. “This is brand new chocolate. They don’t sell them at stores yet.” She smiled triumphantly.
“Then how could you get it if they don’t sell them, exaggerator Min?” Jinyoung pushed her shoulder playfully.
“Of course I can get them! Remember my brother who works at chocolate factory? This is his current project. He said this chocolate is going to be introduced to the market soon, so you have to feel honored, Woon, being able to taste it before the others!”
“Wow, that’s cool Min!” Jinyoung exclaimed and continued praising the chocolate in Jinwoon’s hand.
“Thanks, Min. Chocolate is my favorite.” Jinwoon smiled politely. His eyes went in line, as usual, but if one paid a closer attention, those eyes managed to flicker a silent hope for a wee moment.
And another pair of eyes caught the message.
Little Jinwoon frowned when he saw there was an extra bed in his room. The fact Jinyoung was sleeping on it and there were so many luggages, which he guessed belong to Jinyoung, made his frown grew deeper. He went to his parents’ room and found his mother was taking care of some papers.
“Mommy, why is Jinyoung sleeping in my room? And why are there so many luggages of his?”
His mother brought him to her lap. “Starting from today, Jinyoung is living with us. He is part of our family now.”
Little Jinwoon frowned again. “Isn’t he already part of our family? Jinyoung is my cousin.”
His mother shook her head. “Jinwoon, starting from today, Jinyoung is your twin, not your cousin, do you understand? Because he is mommy’s and daddy’s son too, just like you and Yunho.”
He couldn’t understand his mother’s words. Along his seven years old life, he’d always been told that Jung Jihoon is his father, Shin Mina is his mother, and Jung Yunho is his hyung. He had never been told he has a twin, moreover his twin is Jinyoung.
“Mommy, what does ‘twin’ mean?”
Maybe twin doesn’t mean two persons who share the same birthday like what he heard from his friends. Because if it is, then Jinyoung and him can’t be twins. Jinyoung had just celebrated his birthday last week, while Jinwoon’s was six months ago.
“Twins have so many things in common.” His mother paused to think. “Let’s see… They wear similar clothes, they go everywhere together, they like similar foods, and they can feel what the other twin feel… Things like that, I think.”
Little Jinwoon blinked. “But I don’t have the same birthday as Jinyoung. Mine is on May, Jinyoung’s is on November.”
His mother looked at him deeply. “Starting from today, May and November are your birthdays, so you have two birthdays, okay? Your birthday is Jinyoung’s birthday too, and Jinyoung’s birthday is your birthday too.”
Little Jinwoon wanted to protest, but he held it in. He knew that it’s impossible for someone to have two birthdays. A man is only born once. But his mother was not a kind of person who told lies. There’s definitely something that she did this. Little Jinwoon decided to trust his mother and ignore his thoughts. However, he wanted to make sure about one thing.
“But Mom, if Jinyoung is living with us, won’t Uncle and Aunty become worried? Won’t they look for Jinyoung?”
His mother looked away for a moment before facing him. He noticed a glimpse of tears on her eyes. “No, Jinwoon. Jinyoung can’t live with them anymore; therefore they ask Mommy and Daddy to take care of Jinyoung.” His mother’s voice was shaky.
The bell rang and the students immediately stopped whatever they’re doing. Smiles soon crept on their faces.
“Kids, now is rest time. You may go to school’s cafeteria to enjoy your meals.” The teacher dismissed the class.
“Hurry Woon or else the others will have it first!” Jinyoung took Jinwoon’s hand and dragged him.
“Wait, Young—hey Seulin! Come on!” Jinwoon managed to grab her hand before Jinyoung dragged him out of the class.
At the cafeteria, the three spent most of their time in front of the dessert racks.
“That chocolate pie looks so good.” Jinyoung exclaimed. “But I want that choco ice cream too!” he sighed. “Too bad we can only pick one dessert. Can’t I pick more than one dessert then pay for it?”
“You know you can’t, Jinyoung-ah. Each student can only pick one dessert for a day. You know the reason why. Eating too much dessert is not good for your health. You can be fat.” Seulin explained.
“Yeah, yeah, you’ve told me that yesterday.”
“Then why can’t you remember?” Seulin glared at him. “Oh come on, you’re taking too much time just to pick a dessert!”
“Just pick the ice cream, Young, I’ll take the pie. I’ll share with you.” Jinwoon said.
Jinyoung’s and Seulin’s eyes widened—for different reasons.
“Really? Thank you Woon-ah!” Jinyoung immediately took a cup of choco ice cream to his tray and put the chocolate pie to Jinwoon’s tray. “You’re the best twin in the world, Jinwoon!” he smiled until his eyes went into line.
“Yah, of course I’m the best, do you have another twin in this world?” Jinyoung laughed on Jinwoon’s remark. He led them to the nearest available table.
Seulin watched the scene in disbelief. ‘That cheesecake is right in front of his eyes. His so-called precious cheesecake, the best thing in the world. And he abandons it for chocolate—something he would never eat before?’
“Hey Jinwoon, you don’t want that cheesecake? Isn’t it your favorite?” she asked, stopping Jinwoon from his track. “And since when do you eat chocolate? I thought you said chocolate is too sweet for you.”
Jinwoon paused. “What are you talking about, Seulin? I like chocolate. It’s the best thing in the world.” He smiled. “Oh, you didn’t pick your dessert yet? Hurry and join me and Jinyoung over there, okay?” He turned and followed his twin’s steps.